The Royal Speech delivered by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, in 2003, concerning the launch of the Royal Initiative for the Development of the Oriental Region, constituted a reference and a real model for regional development strategy, placing the citizens and their well-being at the heart of any new development approach.
This Royal Initiative has breathed new life into sustainable territorial development, allowing the launch of hundreds of projects implemented in the Oriental region to move into an era of sustainable and inclusive development.
Structuring projects has made it possible to reconnect the region to national and international markets, while programs for managing natural resources and producing renewable energies have constituted the fundamental pillars of sustainable development.
Industrial poles and tourist resorts have been inaugurated in parallel with rehabilitation operations in all provinces, as well as the construction of basic infrastructure, the strengthening of health and education systems, and the provision of various social and solidarity services aimed at the most vulnerable categories.
The Oriental region will reap the benefits of the investments
The royal initiative for the development of the Oriental region has created, through several stages, a renewed and continuous dynamic in the field of sustainable development.
While the first decade was marked by construction and edification, and the second decade by the consolidation of all sectors, the current third phase must capitalize on these achievements by launching a new generation of productive projects, stimulating investment and creating employment opportunities for the population, particularly young people, in all territorial communities.
The stimulation of investments, one of the four axes of the Royal Initiative for the development of the Oriental region, remains a great challenge that local and national actors and officials aspire to take up. Based on the achievements of this royal development strategy, the region has made promising developments and is becoming a favourable space for attracting investments in order to create employment opportunities and improve the living conditions of the population.
This challenge, which has already begun to be met with the inauguration of the "APTIV" group. The group specializes in the design and manufacture of automotive equipment. Last March, in Oujda’s technology park, an investment of 394 million dirhams constituted the first automotive plant in the Oriental region. This will strengthen the region's economic and industrial activity.
On this occasion, the general manager of "APTIV" Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Portugal, Mohamed Filali, declared that 3,000 jobs will be created in Oujda. In addition, the amounts invested are significant, making this production unit one of "APTIV's" ambitious projects.
For his part, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Ryad Mezzour, stressed that this is the region's first project in the automotive industry, and testifies to the ability of this entity to attract world leaders. At the same time, this paves the way for new investments to create wealth and job opportunities for young people in the future.
The minister announced the launch of 110 industrial projects in the region, with investments of around 18 billion dirhams, to create 40,000 direct and indirect job opportunities. In addition, the region will have 8 industrial zones that will help boost the industrial sector in the region.
Human resources are ready to go with the new development
Human capital plays a crucial role in driving the success of investments, as training and education are essential levers for the economy, requiring an increased focus on global businesses in all value chains. Regarding the strengthening and development of human capital, the region is currently working to strengthen the training of human resources to meet the demands of the labour market, by setting up training centres. 22 centers are programmed, 14 are already operational and 6 others are under construction.
In addition, the inauguration of the City of Trades and Skills in Nador last October was an important milestone in attracting investors looking for qualified young people, because it offers training in line with the territorial characteristics and meets the needs of professionals from the various growth sectors of the region.
The port of Nador West Med is the Mediterranean gateway
On this momentum, the imminent opening of the activities of the port of Nador West Med will make the Oriental region a gateway to the Mediterranean by linking it to the major international maritime routes. This port constitutes a cornerstone of the development program of the Oriental region and will benefit from the strategic position of Morocco.
The infrastructure utilization rate in the Western Mediterranean region has now reached nearly 80%, and the port of Nador West Med, based on the experience of the port of Tanger Med, aims to create a new economic pole that will contribute to the development of the three regions: Oriental, Fez-Meknes and Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima.
This port will also allow the development and promotion of industrial zones, while enhancing the natural resources of the region, and supporting the attractiveness of investments in various potential sectors in Morocco, such as agriculture and automotive.
The new investment charter will also accelerate the development of this region, by maximizing the impact of investments, particularly in terms of the creation of sustainable jobs, fair development of territories, prioritization of growth sectors for the national economy and sustainable development.